The International Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions (INTOSAI) comprises the supreme audit institutions of 188 states, the European Court of Auditors and three associate members. The organisation was formed by representatives of 34 supreme audit institutions at the first conference held in Cuba in 1953.
INTOSAI is an autonomous, independent, non-political and non-governmental organisation which has been established as a permanent institution for exchanging ideas and experiences in the field of foreign audits between the world’s supreme audit institutions. The organisation has consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. Its motto is “Experientia mutua omnibus prodest” (mutual experience benefits all) and the headquarters are located in Vienna where the General Secretariat of the organisation operates on the basis of Austrian Rechnungshof. The official working languages include Arabic, French, German, English and Spanish.
The highest body is the Congress that comprises the full and associate members of the organisation. The Congress meets once every three years and is called and chaired by the head of the supreme audit institution of the country where the Congress takes place.
The Governing Board organises work in between congresses for the purpose of attainment of the organisation’s goals and objectives. The Board comprises 18 members, incl. 7 ex officio members and 11 members who are heads of supreme audit institutions elected by the Congress for a term of six years.
The General Secretariat assists the Governing Board and committees in the performance of their functions and organises the organisation’s practical activities in between Congresses. In matters of financial planning, budgeting, etc., the General Secretariat cooperates with the Finance and Administrative Committee established by the Congress. The General Secretariat is led by the President of Austrian Rechnungshof as the General Secretary of INTOSAI. The Director of Strategic Planning of INTOSAI is also based in Vienna.
The organisation has the following regional working groups:
OLACEFS (Organisation of Latin American and Caribbean Supreme Audit Institutions, established in 1965);
AFROSAI (African Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, established in 1976)
ARABOSAI (Arab Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, established in 1976);
ASOSAI (Asian Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, established in 1978);
PASAI (Pacific Association of Supreme Audit Institutions, established in 1987);
CAROSAI (Caribbean Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, established in 1988);
EUROSAI (European Organisation of Supreme Audit Institutions, established in 1990).
INTOSAI’s committees are established by the Congress for discussing specific problems and performance of specific functions. Based on the goals of INTOSAI’s strategic plan, the following standing committees have been established:
- Professional Standards Committee;
- Capacity Building Committee;
- Committee on Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Services;
- Finance and Administration Committee.
- The committees coordinate the work of many subcommittees, working groups and task forces in performance of the functions established by the Congress. The area of activity of the committees includes the INTOSAI Development Initiative (IDI) and the International Journal of Government Auditing magazine.
The Estonian National Audit Office has been a member of INTOSAI since 1992 and has participated in the work of all the Congresses ever since. The main subjects of the XX Congress to be held in the Republic of South Africa in 2010 are as follows:
1. Value and benefits of Supreme Audit Institutions.
2. Environmental auditing and sustainable development.
For years the Estonian National Audit Office has participated in the work of the following working groups:
- INTOSAI Working Group on Privatisation, Economic Regulation and Public-Private Partnerships;
- INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing. As of 2008 the Estonian National Audit Office is the president of the INTOSAI Working Group on Environmental Auditing.
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